52 Ancestors – Week 2 – Favorite Find

This week in the 52 Ancestors Challenge hosted by Amy Johnson Crow, the topic is favorite find. To this date I think my favorite find is about my 2x Great Grandmother, Sarah Larkin Beardsley. Sarah was born in Clintonville, Clinton County, NY in 1847 and sadly she died in April 1886 but she is truly a remarkable woman. Now let’s get back to the find.

I discovered a blurb about Sarah being inducted into the Michigan Medical Society in 1884 that means she had to be a doctor. So there was more research and let’s look at the 1880 Census for Ann Arbor Michigan.

On this 1880 Census we find Sarah with her husband Lesley Beardsley and she is listed as a Student.

On Google Books I found the Calendar for the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and listed inside is Sarah A. Beardsley as a 3rd year student.

from the 1880-81 Calendar for the University of Michigan.

Another search of Google Books yielded the In Memoriam Page for the Michigan State Medical Society, where Sarah is listed as deceased.

Sarah died in Valley Falls, New York in April 1886 of tuberculosis. I have found numerous articles about her in the New York newspapers for Clinton and Essex County to this date she fascinates me.

I also have a new favorite find. I have been trying to find out a death date for my husband’s 2X Great-Grandmother, a woman named Bertha Maier Brucks. Bertha was born in approximately 1863 in Germany. She emigrated to the United States and in 1887 she married Robert Brucks who also was a German immigrant. Robert died in 1916 in Chicago, Illinois.

After Robert died the family left the Chicago area after the 1930 census, I know that two of the daughters settled in the Washington DC area. Daughter Charlotte was a gifted pianist and attended Julliard and daughter Helen settled in Maryland.

I found Bertha in a Washington DC City Directory in 1954 but after that I couldn’t find her after that. She was living with her daughter Charlotte.

So this past weekend I decided to run an Ancestry search on Bertha and a new result for Find-A-Grave popped up but I wasn’t sure it was her so I ran her husband Robert and daughter Charlotte. I knew Robert was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Chicago due to an obituary and his death certificate.

So I think this is my new favorite find.

Find A Grave Memorial – Photo Courtesy of MHunt.

This wonderful Find-A-Grave contributor has been going section by section and photographing Rose Hill Cemetery. So now I have a Year of Death for Bertha. So maybe now I will be able to find a death record for her.

So these are my 2 favorite finds.

Shrubbing & DNA & a Rabbit Hole

Yes shrubbing out that tree and a DNA cousin have lead to a huge Rabbit Hole and it isn’t even a direct ancestor but when a good juicy story gets you hooked you follow.

I love a mystery and think I may of been a detective in a previous life. So I am working on shrubbing out the descendants of Benjamin Knowlton Coolidge and Olive Daby. Though I should also shrub out Benjamin Knowlton Coolidge and Betsey Black also since this family has some pedigree collapse going on and I discovered a triple cousin.

I am also working on creating a tree for my DNA cousin’s great great grandparents because I discovered a case of sisters marrying brothers, so we have a bit more pedigree collapse going on. Thankfully I have a couple of odd markers making the research go a bit easier with a somewhat common last name.

So one of my goals in the coming days is to actually work on some of my own research and scope out the Family History Center’s local to me. It will be nice to be able to access the records fairly easily. I have a list of records I need in my source box and my wonderful daughter said she wouldn’t mind going either. She likes doing research. I am thinking of doing a little 14-day mini-challenge, I did one last year with Nicole and Diana from Family Locket and Research Like a Pro and it helped me. I was able to find some great information and have a nice little report for it. The best part is it kept me focussed on one question.

So I am sitting here going down a rabbit hole and shrubbing along this tree, what are you working on in your tree.

52 Ancestors -Week 16 – Out of Place

Out of place what or who should I write about. Let me tell you about stumbling across this census record back in the day. It was probably early on in my Ancestry membership.

This is the 1880 US Census for 6th Ward of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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This census sent me on a merry chase. For years the only clue I had to my 2X Great Grandmother being a doctor was the MD following her name on her tombstone. When I found this census it provided another clue as I  had no clue she was in Michigan at any point in time.

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Leslie and Sarah Beardsley appear but it also raises the question of where is their daughter Minerva Ruth who should be with them as she is 9-11 years old at this point. The more informed I become the more questions I have.

I do not encounter Minerva on a Census until 1900 when she is married. I think she must be living with family but no clue where. The Beardsley’s were only in Michigan from about 1879 – 1886. I am always looking for more information on my Dr. Sarah I find her to be a fascinating individual for her time.

52 Ancestors – Week 9 – At the Courthouse

For me this prompt was tough. I haven’t been to a courthouse or a town hall in ages, that isn’t saying that I haven’t found legal documents anywhere.

Right now I have a super long list of things I would like to find at a courthouse and I even have plans to visit the Surrogate’s Court in Clinton County when I visit in May because I want to look at the probate record of David Weatherwax with my own eyes. So for this prompt I decided to share all the records I really want to look at.

  • Probate/Guardianship for Beverly Beardsley (d. 1815) – location Essex Co, NY.
  • Probate of David Weatherwax (d.1841) – location Clinton Co, NY.
  • Murder trial transcript for the man who killed Berlindo Moro (d. 1927/8) – location Queens Co, NY. (also need to find all the Long Island Star Journal articles).
  • Court Records for Henry Bass aka William Kirk (from 1913) I have records of him at Sing Sing trying to determine if this is my Henry Bass.
  • Annulment proceedings of Patricia Moran and Robert Bass. I have the final decree but I tend to be nosy.

I am sure there are more but I think these ought to be a good start and realistically I know we will probably never see the annulment proceedings everything else should be fair game though and it will satisfy my curiosity.

Until next time.

52 Ancestors – Week 2 – Challenge

Well, it is onto week 2 of Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestor’s Challenge. As soon as I heard the prompt for this week of challenge, I kind of knew what I wanted to talk about. It wasn’t necessarily an ancestor but the Challenge of Researching in a particular time and place.

For me that place is the State of New York, particularly northern New York. Even more specific it is the counties of Essex and Clinton in New York during the late 1700s and early 1800s. ny_1822_carey-web

I often tell people that if there is a branch of a family that gets lost, it is usually mine. Particularly when they leave Vermont, Massachusetts or New Hampshire to jump across Lake Champlain to New York.

My ultimate black hole in New York State is the town of Jay in Essex County, New York.

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Jay, NY has claimed many families of mine. As not many of the Essex County Records are digitized on Family Search. I seriously have issues that not many deeds or probate records until 1850 or so not being in the books…….this is going to require a good old-fashioned boots on the ground research trip, starting in the county seat of Elizabethtown. My hope is to find the those illustrious deeds and probate records for my Beardsley, Knowlton and Preston families.

While over in Clinton County there is a bit more online it is always worth getting the original documents on your own so a definite trip to the County Seat in Plattsburgh is worth the trip. I will also be reaching out to the Special Collections at the Library at SUNY Plattsburgh because I remember reading a letter my Great Grandmother wrote to her cousin and I would love a copy of it. (the age of cellphones is now upon us.)

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One wonderful asset in the Counties of Clinton and Essex are the town and county historians. Along with the Town Clerks. I have found that pen and paper are still required at times to reach out to these resources. I am also most successful when sending a return envelope with postage.

One of my favorite resources for this portion of New York is the NYS Historic Newspapers site. It is one of my primary sources when researching here. It is also where I found my 2X Great Grandmother, Dr. Sarah Larkin Beardsley’s obituary that had eluded me for years. (You could read about that HERE).

Another great resource for New York State comes to us from the New York G & B. It is the New York History Research Guide and Gazetteer. I had heard about it but when I attended the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh in July 2018 I was able to see it in person and review it. Before I left the session that day I had ordered it. If you research in NY it is a must have. It has opened me to collections I didn’t know I needed.

One thing after 30-plus years of on and off research I have learned is New York State requires boots on the ground and thankfully now that my husband has retired (at least for now), I can possibly breakdown those brickwalls.

 

Thank you 30 x 30 challenge…

So far the 30 x 30 challenge has been great for my research. It is forcing me to be deliberate in my research and not fall down many rabbit holes.

Progress report – Day 2 I focused on Neil Osborne, Bergetti’s husband and made a similar timeline for him but it did not reveal any additional clues, so I began a timeline for their only living child John and it is in progress as I wanted to also use the records I have in my library (marriage certificate and death certificates). I am also trying to watch a webinar on Norwegian research, as I am not sure where to go next on this line.

Saturday( Day 3) I took a slightly different approach and decided to focus on one of my own lines by cleaning up some of those annoying green leaves on my ancestry tree. I clicked one that I don’t generally click “Story”.

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What an absolute treat I found…

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It was a full sheet (I have to print things out). I work much better with actual paper and it was a bit of genealogy gold. It actually referenced books I could find on Internet Archive “The History of Warner, NH” for one and read. Mr. Joseph Sawyer was a selectman in 1776 which I believe makes him eligible to be a patriot for the Daughters of the American Revolution. Hello, new patriot (he isn’t listed in the Ancestor Database).

It also referenced Judith’s parents, Richard and Hannah Bartlett Kelly. Which lead me to my Day 4’s research  another book on Internet Archive Screen Shot 2018-11-04 at 8.19.32 AM

Which lists, the genealogy in great detail and it also references Judith’s Fathers papers which I am now on the hunt for as I like to have the actual references. Also it provides the direct proof I need to link to a proven female patriot, Hannah Kelly.

So now I just need to figure out how to print the pages I need from Internet Archive for reference.

So I must say I am enjoying this 30 x 30 challenge and it seems to be exactly what I needed to focus and my Mom will be happy as these will be patriots through my grandmother’s line.

 

Day 1 of the 30 x 30 challenge

Today starts the day of my 30 x 30 genealogy challenge of researching 30 minutes a day for 30 days. This concept belongs to Jane Adams of Organize Your Family History.

For my 30 x 30 challenge to be successful, I had to come up with some goals and ideas of lines I wanted to research.

Here are a couple of my goals:

  • submit my application to the Daughters of Union Veterans.
  • submit my application to National Society Daughters of the Union.
  • gather the proof for my Associated Daughters of Early American Witches
  • Work on my additional information required request for a supplemental patriot.

Some of my research questions I would like to answer:

  1. When and where did Benjamin Nurse (father of Elizabeth Nurse who was married to Joseph Da(r)by) die?
  2. When did Neils Osborne arrive in the United States? Where in Norway was he from?
  3. When did the wife of Neils Osborne, Bergetti Netland arrive in the United States? Where in Norway was she from?
  4. When and where did Sarah Knowlton marry Obadiah Coolidge?
  5. Where might I find the will for Benjamin Knowlton who died in 1808 be?

So there is just the tip of the iceberg. It ought to be an interesting month. Working on lineage applications gives me a tangible goal and I feel like I should know how to fill out each one out there.

I am going to try to report in on progress as I make some. These are all pressing questions and involve different lines for me and they may even involve me taking this tree sideways in some points.

Here is to a profitable November in finding information.

Decoding those leaves…

 

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We all know about those shaky leaves on ancestry. See these leaves here they sit for a long time. These in particular because they deal with Irish Ancestry. I you look you will see a lot of Peter, Marys and Bridgets. They give me a headache after a while. Decoding a leaf for me is a long process.  If the hint is another tree, I hit the ignore button. While trees are great hints for a starting point the facts have to be verified so I would rather not have any preconceived notions.

The following trees I am trying to set up research questions for and concentrate on finding answers. Having a research plan will hopefully keep me more organized and help finish some lines.

This is the Maxwell tree. This one has so many fabulous names. I am going to start with who was Byrd C. Maxwell and some basic facts of his life.maxwell

Another thing that hints from Ancestry that I love and do spend time perusing is photos. I stumbled across this one of Byrd Maxwell.

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Byrd is seated in the front row and he looks like a character. I wonder the stories he could tell.

Below is what I have termed the Hoffman family tree.  Charles Hoffman is actually a Robinson. HE was adopted. I am in search of his actual obituary and not the copy I found online.

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I also love the fabulous names in this tree including George Wesley Collison and Cornelius Collison. These families came from the East and moved west.  I am trying to piece together Cornelius Collision and am having a hard time as their is either another Cornelius or it is possible the had 2 families (not unheard of).  I recently bought some poster board to see what I could find out. Sometimes I have to revert back to old-fashioned paper and pen research to figure things out.

Here is another tree I am loving. This one has some fabulous names. I am trying to flesh out some Revolutionary War Ancestors for someone. I am also trying to find the immigrant ancestor on the deeply Irish side. This tree currently has over 200 hints I need to review. I timed myself one day. Each hint takes me around 5 minutes to decide if it is correct.

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This last tree I am loving. I showed you a portion of this family in my last post about Israel and Golde Angert. This is a different branch but equally as interesting. Number one, what a fabulous name Monteville is.

monteville

Also that Sylvanus Judson is a twin. This tree has so many names on both sides speaking to me that I am deriving several questions including the first one of who is Rose Gross. We know she was adopted but we need to find out more. This is where the release of the Birth and Death Records that Reclaim The Records is pursuing is so important.

I am thinking of offering a history of one ancestor snapshot – 30 minutes of research for the fee. If interested email me at Chiara@decodingthefamilytree.com and we can chat.

Off to work on writing those research questions.

 

 

 

Happy Birthday Grandpa!

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Today is your birthday and I miss you. I miss you a lot. Your smile, your stories, your love for neapolitan ice cream.

You were born July 10, 1910. The youngest child of Benjamin Franklin Witherwax and Minerva Ruth Beardsley in Peru, Clinton County, NY.  Your married Frances Mary Stewart in 1940 and raised 7 children.

I have wonderful memories of you and think of you often, seriously daily, you and Grandma had such a profound impact on the person I am. I also tell my own dad often that just because you bought me a horse doesn’t mean he should by my child a horse. I wish you could of known all your great grandchildren. You and grandma have left us a wonderful legacy of love and the importance of helping those in need. I always recall you taking in strays. I miss the days of the adults playing poker in the farm dining room or traipsing through a cemetery with you and grandma or the day we drove to Valley Falls looking for information about Sarah Beardsley and met that man who remembered her sister Lucy and was the paper boy.

Anyway. I hope you have a wonderful birthday and I am grateful for having you in my life for my first 29 years. I love you and Miss you. Give Grandma, Uncle Leslie & Uncle Marc a hug from me.